Understanding the Faith Factor: Religion, Norms, "Decent" Behavior, and Relationship Quality among Urban Parents

W. Bradford Wilcox, University of Virginia
Nicholas H. Wolfinger, University of Utah

Our previous research indicates that religious participation is correlated with higher levels of supportive relationship behaviors and with relationship satisfaction among both married and unmarried parents. But little is known about how the association between religious participation and relationship quality may be mediated by family norms and "decent" behavior. Using data from three waves of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, we will investigate the role that marriage norms and prosocial behavior play in mediating the relationship between religious participation and relationship behaviors and quality for both married and unmarried urban parents. In addition, because the literature suggests that men’s relationship behaviors are influenced by the institutional contexts of their relationships more than are women’s behaviors, we will determine if the effect of religion, marriage norms, and prosocial behavior on relationships varies by gender.

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Presented in Session 113: Religion, Religiosity and Family Behavior